4:10 p.m. update: Adam Schefter is reporting Henry has signed a four-year contract worth $50 million, with $25.5 million in guaranteed money. Although half the deal is guaranteed, we don’t know yet how much of that is fully guaranteed. His guarantee is seventh in the league at the moment.
3:30 p.m. update: Jay Glazer is hearing the extension is for four years. That would potentially keep him in Tennessee through 2023.
The Tennessee Titans placed the franchise tag on running back Derrick Henry earlier this year, but it looks like the two sides are closing in on a contract extension. The parties had until 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, July 15th to get a deal done, and Adam Schefter and Ian Rapoport are both reporting they are close to finalizing it at the wire.
Henry wrapped up his rookie contract this past season with the best season of his career. He rushed for 1,540 yards and 16 touchdowns, while averaging 5.1 yards per carry. He also had a career high 18 catches for 206 yards and two more touchdowns. He rushed 303 times during the regular season, and added 83 more carries in the three rounds of the playoffs.
Henry carried the offense, particularly over the final two months of the season. He rushed for at least 149 yards in four of the final six games of the regular season. In the playoffs, he had 34 rushes for 182 yards and a touchdown in a road upset of the Patriots, and then 30 rushes for 195 yards in a road upset of the Ravens.
If a deal gets done, it will be interesting to see what kind of guaranteed money Henry is able to secure. Running backs have been losing value with regularity over the past few years, and it has been difficult for them to land the kinds of deals we saw 10 or 15 years ago. This could be an interesting test case to see what a true “workhorse” back can still secure in the NFL.
Fantasy football implications
Henry ranked 12th in traditional fantasy points per game and 13th in DraftKings DFS points per game. This year as drafts begin heading into the 2020 NFL season, he is going in the middle of first rounds, a little sooner in non-PPR leagues, but still mid-first round in PPR leagues.
The Titans added Darrynton Evans in the third round of the 2020 draft after releasing Dion Lewis. Evans will get opportunities as a rookie, but Henry will be getting the bulk of the work. If you don’t think he will break down after heavy usage in 2019, Henry remains a stable back to build your team around.